Palm Sunday

After the reading of the passion of the Lord and at the very beginning of the Holy Week there is a good topic for our conversation with the Lord. Today we can ask ourselves if we can truly live out all of the aspects of Christianity[1].

When we encounter Jesus and his gospel, we immediately sense that we are dealing with something that is not of this world. To be a Christian is not the same as being a member of an organization, Christianity is essentially different. When we embrace Jesus as the truth, the way, and the life[2], we are faced with the reality that Jesus encompasses our entire being, so Christianity is a way of life, and Jesus wants to send his Spirit through every door and window of our soul[3].

Today, Palm Sunday of 2010 we come face to face with Jesus, we come face to face with the reality of how we are to live our lives each day.

Jesus, the Savior of the world and the king of the universe were born in the humility of Bethlehem and throughout the Gospels He taught His apostles and disciples the importance of humility and simplicity[4].

The question today is very simple: how can I grow in humility? Let us remember that humility is the basic virtue of the Christian way of life. We cannot believe unless we are humble and we cannot love our neighbor unless we are humble. Humility is a gift, and we have to ask God for this gift through prayer. Also we need to collaborate with grace and do acts of humility: obedience to our superiors –parents, teachers or bosses at work, is a concrete way to exercise the virtue of humility. Charity is another concrete way to practice humility. Patience, kindness, forgiveness, service, speaking well of others and being a team player are all manifestations of the virtue of humility.

Humble people are people filled with joy and peace. Humble people know how to build community and be team players. Humble people are wonderful to be with because they are forgetful of themselves. Humble people are kind and compassionate to all those around them[5]

Just like on the first Good Friday, many people in our society refuse to leave aside their pride and fully live the virtue of humility. Only the humble can experience the loving presence of Jesus in their lives. Today, the beginning of the Holy Week let us try with the help and intercession of our blessed Mother, the handmaid of the Lord ■

[1] Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion. Readings: Luke 19:28-40, Isaiah 50:4-7, Psalm 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24, Philippians 2:6-11, Luke 22:14—23:56 or 23:1-49.

[2] Cfr Jn 14:6

[3] Pope John Paul II once wrote; “It is urgent to rediscover and to set forth once more the authentic reality of the Christian faith, which is not simply a set of propositions to be accepted with intellectual assent. Rather, faith is a lived knowledge of Christ, a living remembrance of his commandments, and a truth to be lived out. A word, in any event, is not truly received until it is put into practice. Faith is a decision involving one’s whole existence. It is an encounter, a dialogue, a communion of love and of life between the believer and Jesus Christ, the way, and the truth, and the life. It entails an act of trusting abandonment to Christ, which enables us to live as he lived, in profound love of God and of our brothers and sisters” (Veritatis Splendor, n. 88)

[4] His followers had already heard His piercing words: "blessed are the meek" and "blessed are the peacemakers". But, he continued to affirm the importance of the virtue of humility when he held a child and said: "unless you become like a child, you shall not enter the Kingdom of God". The Apostles continued to struggle with pride and Jesus continued to teach the importance of the basic virtue of humility. "Anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave".

[5] Directly opposed to humility is the capital sin of pride. When pride rules our lives, there are always disastrous consequences. Arguments, divisions, fights, and chaos are just some of the horrible effects of this terrible sin. Presumption, ambition, and vanity are the principal manifestations of pride. The remedy for pride is the virtue of humility. This is the solution for a world so filled with sin and corruption.

Ilustration: Unknow author, The Entry into Jerusalem, Ottonian, Regensburg, about 1030 - 1040, Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment (9 1/8 x 6 5/16 in), MS. LUDWIG VII 1, FOL. 36

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris